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Your SVS: 2018 Was a Productive Year; No Slowdown Anticipated in 2019!

2019 is in full swing, with work continuing on a wide array of SVS objectives, events and priorities.

But before shutting the door completely on 2018, SVS members will be interested to see the lengthy list of achievements for the year.

Executive Director Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD, reviewed 2018 activities and their impact for the coming year for the Strategic Board of Directors at its retreat in early January:

  • A new Branding Initiative Task Force, led by Joe Mills, MD, made substantial progress in 2018 researching and exploring new messaging, imaging and taglines that optimally position the vascular surgeon and SVS for the future. SVS members will hear more at VAM 2019! Another major focus: outreach and collaborative education with referral physicians.
  • SVS now has two thriving membership “sections,” one for vascular physician assistants (145 members) and the new Section on Outpatient and Office Vascular Care (155 members), approved in late December.
  • SVS established and announced availability of the new Fellow (FSVS) and Distinguished Fellow (DFSVS) designations.
  • The Document Oversight Committee produced three published guidelines, has six in the pipeline and is working with the Quality Council to explore a process for adding appropriate use criteria.
  • The SVS Wellness Task Force has completed a comprehensive study with Mayo Clinic. Data presentations have been submitted for the 2019 Vascular Annual Meeting.
  • The SVS Foundation created and awarded three Community Awareness Prevention Project Grants; SVS also is linking the Community Practice Committee to the Resident/ Student and Young Surgeons committees plus the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society to address community-based mentoring.
  • In June, the Society created the Quality Council, headed by Dr. Larry Krais
  • The SVS/ACS Vascular Center Verification and Quality Improvement Program was created; standards are 90 percent written. A pilot program is planned for 2019. Other achievements in 2018, and plans for 2019 include:
  • Seeing the Vascular Quality Initiative and Patient Safety Organization hit milestones of more than 500,000 procedures registered and more than 500 centers participating; piloting a method to track guideline adherence (AAA); creating new dashboards; leading collaboration with other agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration; tracking 30-day follow-up information; adding registries and updating others; and holding 17 educational webinars.
  • Seeing the Alternative Payment Models Task Force near completion of its analysis and a potential vascular APM model for presentation to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Submitting re-accreditation materials to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, with an interview set for March.
  • Choosing a vendor for the Learning Management System (LMS) to store/ organize online learning materials
  • Developing a new comprehensive education plan for early-career vascular surgeons
  • Creating a Fellows Program of educational programming for the 2019 Vascular Annual Meeting.
  • Holding a successful 2018 Vascular Research Initiatives Conference, with good fundraising support
  • Working with the Journal of Vascular Surgery to create a basic science journal, with a likely 2019 launch.
  • The Coding Committee developing templated coverage documents by procedure.
  • Advocacy staff and committee members convincing the CMS to hold the line on Medicare payments and reimbursements on many fronts.
  • Providing comments on the episode-based measure for Revascularization for Lower Extremity Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia.
  • Providing education, including monthly columns in JVS and JVS-VL and webinars, to SVS members on the Quality Payment Program, and writing comments to CMS on Year 3 QPP Proposed Rule.
  • Launching SVSConnect, the new member interaction and networking online platform for SVS members.
  • Beginning the process of building the new SVS Headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., with the move accomplished in late February. “The SVS is a vibrant, thriving medical society thanks to its dedicated members and leaders,” noted Dr. Slaw. “It is an honor and privilege to serve our members, and our mission.”